Chicken breast is one of the most popular food ingredient in the world. However, it can be so tough and stringy at times reason why some novice inexperienced cooks steer clear from cooking it.
This video from is a tutorial type video showing how to tenderize chicken with a meat mallet.
Learning how to tenderize chicken is essential. For anyone looking to make chicken tender recipes or baked chicken recipes, the meat tenderizer is an obvious choice for this job. The hard, flat surface on one side is perfect for crushing and pounding chicken. On the other hand, the pyramid shaped spikes on the other side are designed for that harder to break down surfaces that require a little more persuasion.
Quick and easy chicken recipes are easy with the meat tenderizer as they make light work of any piece of meat. Tenderizing chicken breast is the ideal candidate though, as this particular slice of meat is already free from bones and fairly soft. Easy chicken recipes with tender chicken cuts become a walk in the park with the meat tenderizer.
Most of us are trained to believe that marinating meat causes it to become more tender. That’s true in some cases — but not necessarily so when it comes to poultry.
Brining (using salt, sugar and water) also imparts some flavor, but does very little to break down poultry muscle. And your favorite restaurant fajitas? What you need to know: Acids (lemon juice, vinegar-based products and wine) tend to toughen meats. Enzymes (most notably pineapple) can turn a nice piece of pork into baby food. Neither has a good effect, if any, on poultry. And neither does salt.
Want to tenderize chicken? Here are two surefire ways:
Do it like the Italians and Greeks — use milk or yogurt, respectively. Personally, I like buttermilk. Whichever you use, just know that the chemical properties of these dairy products have a tendency to break down muscle tissue. Your best bet is to do it overnight, just like Kentucky Fried Chicken does it. Milk works on beef too. After browning a pound of ground chuck or round, pour in a cup of milk and simmer until it is all evaporated.
Veleting— Your favourite Chinese takeaway shop has its own way of tenderizing chicken and its called veleveting--deep fry it before you stir fry it. Just coat your sliced pieces with whatever seasoning you prefer (soy sauce if you are trying to impress the neighbors with Moo Goo Gai Pan), then toss the pieces in some cornstarch and egg white. Blanch those pieces in hot oil for about 15 seconds, then set aside for use later. The technique is called velveting. Heat is also a major player when it comes to breaking down muscle. Too much heat too quickly will have the opposite effect though … sort of like that hot dog that you accidentally cooked for 10 minutes in the microwave. (We’ve all added that extra zero!) Want to live a little longer and have the most tender poultry in your neighborhood? Eliminate the frying altogether and use your slow-cooker.
Just abide and your poultry will be more tender for it.
Obtain a meat tenderizing too, like this one from Cavetools. Meat hammers or mallets are sometimes y wooden or metal mallets with a bumpy head that are used to pound meat to make it more tender. You can buy a meat tenderizing tool from any kitchen supply store. If you don't have a tenderizer, you can use a clean hammer in its place, though this will be less effective than a tenderizing tool since it has a smooth head.
Boneless chicken breasts or thighs can be processed with a meat tenderizing tool. Don't attempt to tenderize bone-in cuts of meat, since you'll shatter the bones. If you have a bone-in cut of meat you want to tenderize in this manner, remove the meat from the bone first. Cover the meat with a piece of plastic wrap. This will prevent small pieces of meat from scattering over your countertop when you pound it.
Use the meat tenderizing tool to pound the meat evenly over the entire surface. Keep going back and forth over the meat until it's as thin as you want it to be for the recipe you're using. This is a great method to use before cooking meat using a fast method, such as grilling or frying. Pounding both breaks down fibers in the meat and allows for very fast cooking.
Kabobs are easy to cook for your family and friends, but elegant enough for a more formal dinner of barbecue. Served as an appetizer or main course, they are infallible to please the crowds.
1. Meats, fruits and vegetables should be cut into 1-inch cubes thick. This allows ingredients to cook more evenly.
2. If you use minced meat, do not put too much because it may detach while cooking. By your Kabob in the refrigerator two hours before cooking, you will enable any seasoning not only to penetrate the meat well, but it will also help the meat to hold up well.
3. If you use metal skewers, take precautions as they will be extremely hot. Use your BBQ tongs to turn it, or buy a basket metal skewers.
4. If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak at least 30 minutes before cooking time. This will prevent them from burning.
5. For maximum flavor, marinate the meat try for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight. Although you can use any remaining sauce to baste meat, it is suggest you double the amount of marinade and serve one of the marinade for basting the meat pots and reserve the other, which has not been in contact with raw meat, for dipping.
6. Meat is best sealed with Kabobs, otherwise it will start to separate during cooking.
7. Make sure all the extra ingredients - such as onions, garlic, and fresh herbs - are finely ground before being added to the ground beef.
8. Mix ground beef with the additional ingredients with your hands until combined. Be careful of too much meat.
9. Wet your hands and form the beef balls. After about six or seven bullets per pound of meat.
10. Throw the balls into elongated strands.
11. Thread the meat onto stainless steel skewers. If you only have a thin skewers, thread the meat onto two parallel skewers placed about 1/4 inch apart. Leave an inch or two between the meatballs for even cooking.
12. Press firmly meat on the Kabobs with your fingers. Seal meat well at each end of the oblong ball with your thumb and forefinger.
13. Cook on the grill according to the recipe, turning frequently to ensure even cooking. Carefully turn it to prevent the meat from falling. If the meat is starting to loosen, press back into place with your fingers.
The king of the crustaceans, lobster is a delicacy that commands a very high price, with white, firm meat that is sweet and succulent.
Before it is cooked, lobster shell has a very dark colour, with tints that range from blue/green to red/purple - it gains its distinctive deep red brick colour only when it's cooked.
Generally speaking, the colder the waters in which the lobster was fished, the better the flavour. There are three main types: Canadian or American lobsters which have round, very fleshy claws; European, fished around England, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Norway, which are considered to have the best flavour; and Slipper or Squat lobster, which live in warmer oceans, such as those surrounding Australia, where they are called 'bugs'. They have wide bodies and spindly legs, and aren't generally sold in Europe.
For practicality, a freshly cooked lobster, already split in half, cleaned and ready to eat, is the easiest option. Look for cooked lobster with a brightly coloured shell, and a tail that is tightly curled under the body - that means that it was live when it was cooked.
Buying a whole live lobster will ensure that the meat is the freshest it could possibly be, but it does mean that you will have to kill it - not a job for the squeamish. Look for lobsters that smell very fresh, and which are still lively when you pick them up - if you straighten out their tails, they should swiftly curve back under the body.
Never pick up a live lobster whose claws aren't bound with an elastic band - they're very powerful and and can do serious damage.
Now, there are many ways to cook lobster, and probably just as many ways to eat it. Boiling is the most straightforward way to cook lobster, though you can easily steam them too.
The steps I’ve laid out here are as much for my benefit as they are for yours. I don’t eat or cook lobster that often, so it helps me remember what to do when I do get the chance.
I like my lobster dipped in hot melted butter, so that’s what is presented here. Some people just like a squirt of lemon juice, or dipped in mayonnaise. Some people meticulously extract the meat from every little leg. I skip them and go for the claws, knuckles, and tail.
For me, cooking lobster is something you do for a gathering of friends and family. It’s so much fun, so messy, and so good, it’s just meant to be shared.
1. The first step is to light your fire. If you have a gas grill light only half of the grill to high, if you are using charcoal place all of the coals to one side. You want to cook the tails over medium heat or else the tails will dry out. Also you don't want to cook over direct heat as the garlic lemon butter that we are going to baste the tails with will catch fire. Flame-ups will cook the tails too quickly and you will end up with dried out meat.
2. The next step is to make the garlic lemon butter. I find that it is easiest to melt the butter in a microwave. Feel free to melt it over the stove and clarify it. Since we are going to baste the tails with the butter I find that a coffee cup is the perfect vessel to melt the butter. Then you can use the handle when you are basting the tails. Place the butter in the cup. Finely chop the garlic and add it to the cup. Roll the lemon so that you can break up the internal structures of the lemon. This will allow you to easily juice it. Then add the juice to the cup along with a pinch of salt and a couple of cracks of fresh pepper. Place in the microwave for a minute. This will melt it nicely. Mix it and return it to the microwave. Right before you need it, zap it for another 30 seconds.
3. Next comes the lobsters. Try to use at least 6oz Lobster Tails. Using a nice pair of kitchen shears, cut a slit down the back of the lobster tail all the way to the tail fan. After cutting the shells you can butterfly the meat with a knife. To do this, cut about a ¼ inch into the meat following the same cut as the shell. Flip over the lobster tail so that it is on its back. Making sure that the lobster is flat, insert a skewer right underneath the tail fan. Then push it through the center of the meat to the other end. Place the skewer just in front of the fan part of the tail and push it through the center of the meat. This will prevent the lobster tail from curling. A straight tail is pretty tail.
4. Place the tails cut side down on the grill right on the edge of the heat zones. Right between the hot and cool sides of the grill.
5. The first half of cooking is without the butter so flare-ups won't be a problem. Place right on the edge of the hot and cold zones of the grill. Cook for 7-8 minutes and then flip the tails. Move them over a bit just until they are not directly over the coals. Cook with the lid closed. While the tails are cooking, reheat the garlic lemon butter and bring it grill side. Next baste the tails with the garlic lemon butter. Make sure to get a lot of the butter into the sliced portion of the shell. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Cook with the lid closed checking frequently for flare-ups. If you see flare-ups, spray the fire with a little water. I keep a spray bottle near the grill for these instances. When the meat is opaque, it is done. Remove from the grill. Baste one more time with the butter and cover with aluminum foil. Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Remove the skewers and serve. I like to serve the tails over rice with a side of lemon. Once the meat has rested, you can easily wiggle it out of the shell or leave it in the shell for a nice presentation. Remove the skewer, prop up the meat and serve over rice with lemon
Cooking ribs that are fall-off-the-bone tender takes practice. To accomplish this goal, you must find the perfect balance between cooking temperature and the time it takes to fully cook the meat. The cooking method matters a great deal We recommend cooking the meat over indirect heat. Cooking the ribs for an extended amount of time is another key to making tender ribs.
For most outdoor cooks, barbecued ribs occupy a place outside the typical comfort zone of hamburgers, steaks, and chops. The intricacies of slow-cooked, smoky barbecue seem shrouded in mystery. What with all the insanely complex spice rubs, glazes, and sauces, plus the vagaries of tending live fires, it's a cult better left to the pros, right?
Wrong! We are here to open the doors to the inner sanctum of the barbecue world and show you how easy pork ribs can be. Your biggest obstacle is time. That's it. Just the time it takes for the rib meat to surrender its grisly texture and collapse into tender shreds of succulence beneath a slightly crisp and caramelized surface. If you've got time and an outdoor grill, you can barbecue great ribs.
Pork is traditional for barbecuing, and the two most popular choices are baby backs and spareribs. Baby backs, also known as top loin or loin back ribs, are smaller (2 to 2-1/2 pounds per rack) and more expensive. They're cut "high on the hog," near the backbone, where pork chops and tenderloins come from, so they're usually more tender.
Spareribs are larger (4 to 5 pounds per rack, untrimmed) and less expensive. They come from the belly of the animal, close to the section that's turned into bacon. They're usually meatier, fattier, and more flavorful. I like to barbecue St. Louis-style spareribs, which are regular spareribs minus a few chewy odds and ends: the breastbones along the bottom, the pointed tops at one end, and a strip of scraggly meat dangling from the bone side. If your store has only regular spareribs, ask the butcher to trim them St. Louis-style for you.
The goal is a series of harmonic supporting flavors that complement the most important thing of all—the inherent flavor of the meat. For us, the very best ones are really tender but not so tender that the meat is falling off the bone. I like a little chew left in the meat, and that’s the doneness test I’ve given in my recipe. Baby backs require three to four hours of cooking from start to finish. Spareribs take four to five hours. That’s the main difference; otherwise, the technique for barbecuing either is essentially the same. If you prefer more tender ribs, just cook them longer.
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium and arrange the racks so the ribs won't be sitting directly over the flames or heat source. Cut off the point of the rack of spareribs, as well as the flap of tough meat that's on the inside of the ribs. Also remove the membrane from the back of the ribs by inserting a sharp knife under the edge and gently peeling it back from the meat. Many butchers and grocery stores are willing to do this for you if you purchase fresh meat from the deli case.
Marinate the spareribs for several hours; otherwise, sprinkle the raw meat with your favorite herbs and spices, such as rosemary, paprika, turmeric or celery seed. Consider marinating the spareribs because the ingredients in the marinade can help tenderize the meat, but it also infuses it with the flavors of the marinade. Because you're cooking the spareribs over low heat for an extended amount of time, this isn't essential to cooking tender ribs, however.
Place the spareribs, bone side down, on the grill rack, cover the grill and cook the spareribs for an hour and a half to two hours for 6 to 8 pounds of ribs. You can tell that the ribs are done when the meat easily comes apart from the bones. Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce, if you're using it, during the last 20 minutes of so of cooking. This allows the sauce to fully flavor the meat but doesn't let it get so hot that it begins to burn. Transfer the cooked ribs to a serving platter and allow the meat to rest for at least three minutes before serving it.
Don't be tempted to turn the heat up on your grill to speed up the cooking process. To achieve perfectly tender spareribs, they must cook for a long period of time over indirect heat. Fresh pork ribs, including spareribs, must be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This isn't too much of a concern for this method because the meat will cook for so long, but if you're worried or aren't sure, err on the side of caution and check the ribs with a meat thermometer before eating them. Serve your tender spareribs with grilled potatoes and vegetables for a meal that's rich in protein, iron and fiber. Experiment with different herbs, seasonings and sauces to create different flavors for your spareribs.
The first time you roast a chicken at high heat, it can seem like magic. With a hot oven and just 45 minutes or so, you can achieve a golden-brown, perfectly juicy bird. No one's saying otherwise. But there's more to chicken than a quick cooking time and crispy skin. There's pure, shameless chickeny flavor. And in that area, no flash-roasting method can compete with the humble rotisserie.
With a low oven temp and a longer (much longer) cooking time, rotisserie chicken scores you the kinds of deep, rich flavors and tender textures that only low and slow barbecue can compete with. Already in love with the rotisserie chicken you can get from Costco or the supermarket? The homemade version tastes even better. Yes, it will take you three hours to cook this chicken. But those are three hours you can spend doing entirely unrelated projects, like doing the laundry (while dreaming of chicken), or playing with your dog (while dreaming of chicken).
The best part: Homemade "faux-tisserie" chicken doesn't require any special equipment. The constant twirling of the bird is great for basting, sure, but it's also kinda overkill. You'll achieve equally delicious results just by flipping the bird (so to speak) a few times as it roasts. Here's how to master the rotisserie chicken at home:
Since you're cooking your chicken for a few hours, don't be afraid to go aggressive on your seasonings. A spice rub with ground fennel seed and plenty of red-pepper flakes will infuse the meat with intense flavor, while mellowing as the chicken cooks.
To maximize that rotisserie-inspired juiciness, make sure to add a couple lemon halves and sprigs of herbs to the cavity. To trap all that flavor inside (while scoring a polished presentation), you'll want to tie the legs closed with twine. Way easier than trussing the entire bird, and just as effective.
Throw some potato chunks in the pan with your chicken, and they'll soak up plenty of savory juices and turn extra crispy as they roast together. Just be sure to position the potatoes alongside the chicken instead of underneath it for maximum browning. (By the way, pretty much any hearty vegetable is good here, from sweet potatoes and turnips to parsnips and onion wedges.)
No need to baste the chicken every five minutes to mimic the constant basting of rotisserie chicken. But you should be mindful to baste once an hour (that means at least three times) as you roast the bird.
We got this tip straight from Epicurious readers in the comments: Once you remove the chicken and the vegetables from the pan, you'll be left with plenty of savory browned bits. Place the pan on the stovetop over medium heat and add a splash of white wine. Scrape and simmer until you've created a delicious pan sauce to serve with your deeply tanned, crazy-tender chicken.
Salmon is a succulent, firm, meaty fish with a mild but distinct flavor. A diet of mostly insects and crustaceans gives salmon flesh its characteristic rosy-red hue. Nicknamed the “king of fish,” salmon is packed with significant amounts of important nutrients, including protein, niacin, thiamine, selenium, potassium, folate and vitamins B6, B12, D and E. As a health food, however, salmon is most valued for its high omega-3 fatty acid content. A diet rich in omega-3s is known to help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease by reducing inflammation, blood clotting and high triglyceride levels. Several traditional salmon-cooking methods are diet-friendly, incorporating few, if any, additional calories
Packed with flavor and heart-healthy fats, salmon can handle the grill, whereas flaky fish like cod, sole, and tilapia tend to fall to pieces. So delight friends and family with one of our delicious and healthy grilled salmon recipes at your next gathering, or whip up a favorite to incorporate more fish into your weeknight dinner menu.
Salmon fillets and steaks are naturals for both charcoal and gas grilling. When grilling salmon, the key is to get the timing right so the fish is perfectly tender every time.
Before grilling fish, rinse it and pat dry with paper towels. To add flavor, use a dry rub or sprinkle with spices or herbs (thyme, dill, or basil work well with grilled salmon). Or marinate it in your favorite sauce. Keep in mind that salmon will pick up the flavors quickly, so even 15 to 30 minutes in a marinade can be enough to add big flavor to your grilled salmon.
Now that you've prepped the fish, it's time to fire up the grill. Here are a few things to remember when grilling salmon:
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source. In a small bowl, combine the basil, parsley, minced garlic and lemon juice. Spray the fish with cooking spray. Sprinkle with black pepper. Top each fillet with equal amounts of the basil-garlic mixture. Place the fish herb-side down on the grill. Grill over high heat. When the edges turn white, after about 3 to 4 minutes, turn the fish over and place on aluminum foil. Move the fish to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat. Grill until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish reads 145 F (about 4 minutes longer). Remove the salmon and place on warmed plates. Garnish with green olives and lemon slices.
Sausages are similar to hotdogs in shape and size, but sausages are often more flavorful and hearty than simple everyday dog. Sausages come either cooked or raw, and both can be cooked successfully on an outdoor grill. Beef, pork and chicken sausage, or a combination, all cook in a similar manner on a gas grill. The right technique will produce juicy sausages full of flavor.
Sausage and fire--two components that will make a very great combination to come up with great food. Cook the sausage over the over a well-controlled fire and you get a crackling crisp casing, moist ground meat, and fire and smoke flavors. Combine them the wrong way and you'll turn the sausages -- and your grill – a big ball of fire and some burned meat.
There are a few challenges in cooking your delicious sausages. First, sausages comes with high fat content (as much as 50 percent depending on the type). Another challenge is the high pressure under which that fat shoots onto the fire should careless tongs -- or a barbecue fork -- rupture the casing. A third is to cook the sausage to a safe temperature inside without drying it out or burning the exterior. In this article, we will teach you some of the techniques to know for grilling the perfect sausage.
There are different types of linked sausage that require different preparation techniques. Fresh Sausage, which includes fresh bratwurst, fresh Italian sausage and fresh kielbasa, is not cooked during processing and must be cooked thoroughly and completely before consuming. Fresh sausage may be cooked in two ways. It can be parboiled and then fried or grilled, or slow cooked in a fry pan or grill.
To do a parboil on a sausage, place sausage links in a heavy skillet. Cover the sausage with water and par-boil until sausage is grey throughout (about 10 to 15 minutes.) Afterwards, the sausage then can be fried until nicely browned. Alternatively, sausage that has been parboiled also may be grilled slowly over coals, turning frequently until grey-brown throughout. To go for for bolder flavor, sausage can also be parboiled in beer instead of water. For this method, substitute beer for water. Stronger flavored beers tend to impart more flavor to sausage. Beers that are heavy on malt will impart a sweeter flavor, which may complement a strong sausages. Lagers, when used this way, tend to be more bitter and complement a sweeter sausage well. To add more flavor, onions can be added to the beer.
Cooked Sausage like wieners, knockwurst, cooked bratwurst and smoked sausage need only be heated since it was cooked thoroughly during processing. There are a variety of ways to do this. One possible way is to steam cooked sausages. To do this, bring a pan of water or beer to a boil. Remove the pan from heat and add sausage. Cover the pan and let it stand 10-15 minutes. It is not advisable to add sausages to vigorously boiling water because it may cause them to split. Cooked sausage also can be baked in casserole dish, microwaved, grilled or pan-fried. All sausages should be turned with a tongs or a turner, not with a fork, because puncturing the casing allows the flavorful juices to escape.
Okay now on to grilling! Who doesn’t like a grilled sausage? No one! Here’s the lowdown--you can pretty much always grill a sausage. Who wants to snack on a cold sausage straight from its package? We can boil sausage as we have previously mentioned, but who likes that? We are all for grilled sausages here!
Fresh sausages that have been parboiled are have gone through the cooking process, so essentially you’re really just reheating them. How you do so is up to you, however, it would be great if you to add some flavor to the process. Grilling, where you can achieve a nice char and smoky essence, is the perfect choice. And since we have already previously boiled the sausage, you don’t have to worry too much about the sausages splitting open. However, throwing a sausage directly on a screaming hot grill is still not advisable so we better take things a little slower and lower.
Cooked sausages that has been cured by smoking or air-drying, can definitely be tossed on the grill as well. If you’d rather do more than slice and place on a cheeseboard, can benefit and get more flavor from grilling. Smoky, spicy chorizo is particularly tasty after some time on the grill.
It is that simple and does not require you to continually turn the sausages as they cook in a frying pan or on the grill. The only downside to baking sausage is that you will not have the characteristic grill marks that are created when pan frying or grilling. Personally, I am willing to forgo the grill marks when the alternative is simpler, easier and not as messy.